What is in this article?:
- In the past 40 years, the United States has lost 800,000 farmers and ranchers.
- Farmers are aging. From 2002 to 2007, the average age of a farmer increased from age 55 to 57. And the number of farmers aged 75 years or older increased by 20 percent over the same period. Meanwhile, the number of operators under 25 years of age decreased by 30 percent.
- Another driving concern: role of farm-industry consolidation and the potential for antitrust legal action.
A series of joint workshops between the USDA and Department of Justice concluded with an exploration of farming/agribusiness trends. A driving concern for the workshops was the role of farm-industry consolidation and the potential for antitrust legal action.
Along those lines, many of the speakers called for proposed changes to GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration) in order to bring pricing fairness and greater transparency to markets.
During the morning session, a diverse set of panelists, representing each link of the food supply chain, told Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Eric Holder what needs to be done to ensure a vigorous, profitable marketplace.